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I was talking with one of my friends today and she has a Toyota Avalon. Her car has about the same mileage as mine (90,000 or so) and is around the same year (97).

She said she found out that she needed new struts when she heard a clunking noise from the front of the car.

Well, I am well acquainted of the infamous 'clunking' noise, as many members here have had the same problem.

I have posted about this before, and gotten some good theories about what it could be. (Something about the top of the struts?) The noise seemed to get worse in the winter. Well, I am thinking about getting new ones because I think that this might solve the problem. What do you all think? And do you think all four need replacing? I really want that noise to be gone.

Also, my local mechanic put new brakes on in mid-November. He said that all four pads needed replacing, as they each had about 10% left on them. I paid about $300-$350 I believe. Is this a good deal? One mechanic friend of mine said that you rarely have to replace the rear brakes, and that it was fishy. Did I get ripped off?

I think he put metallic pads on, and maybe that I had the nice ceramic pads before, because every time I first start out after the car has been off for some time, they squeak annoyingly loud for the first couple brake applications. Is this normal? Is is just wearing off the rust that has formed while it has been sitting?

I wish I would have asked here before getting new brakes. I am thinking that I should have gotten the nicer brakes (ceramic) and that he did not tell me that they are available (I just found out about them from this site, a few weeks ago).

Thanks for your help everyone! Sorry this is so long!!


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The suspension clunk...I want to say this is related to a broken bushing or mount or something like that?? My rear suspenion does this too, but it's only when I pull into the driveway, so I can live with this. If the clunk is just comming from the front, I dunno why you'd need to change all 4 struts unless the car bottoms out a lot.

I don't think you got ripped off with your breaks. When were your rear pads last changed? The rear pads usually last about twice as long as the fronts.

I know what you mean about that squeal...it's like a really high pitched squeal for the first few seconds you press the breaks at a low speed. I think this has something to do with a shim on the break pads or something(?) or maybe it is just wearing off the rust...my car makes this squeal as well as my friends V6 Camry, and I think I've read about this in the LS forum also...nothing out of the ordinary.


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The sound is coming from the front strut mounts. It's not dangerous, just annoying. Toyota had a problem with them on the ES300 and the Camry and replaced a lot of them. If you ever replace the struts you should also replace the front mounts. I think you could have done better on the brakes and the mechanic should have known to put ceramic pads on it. You'll get more dust and squeal from the semi-metallic pads.

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I don't know if he put on metallic or ceramic, but I would assume metallic. I will have to ask him.

Also, so I do not have to replace the struts, just the front MOUNTS?

Do you know if Lexus replaces these for free (or for a discount) since it is a TSB and since so many people have had problems with this?

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it takes about 30 minutes per wheel to change the brake pads

x4 it is about 2 hours x shop rate of 60 should be 120 the most for labour and the brakes about 60 and 60 each total 240

the squeal is normal as it is rust from moisture being broken off initally after driving.

the niose needs to be isolated first

as some cars are the bushings others are mounts and some are the struts.

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I had the infamous clunking noise on my 2000 ES300. The dealer replaced the front strut mounts free of charge. I'm not sure whether they were replaced under warranty, or because there was a TSB issued. At any rate, its worth checking into. Mention the TSB to your advisor and see if you can work something out.

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